FROM BERKELEY — Another frustrating loss for Washington State, this one 67-54 to California in Haas Pavilion. We've filed our story and have our usual tale of the tape after the jump. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Tyrone Wallace surprised most Cal observers by leading the Bears with 16 points, but I think the player whose effort most stood out was Mike Ladd. He didn't shoot well (5 for 15, and 0 for 3 from 3-point range) but he was all over the offensive glass, grabbing nine offensive boards and 12 total. Nine of his 12 points were the direct result of an offensive rebound, and his hustle has become a staple of WSU's play this season. If only they had more players performing on the same level.
PLAY OF THE GAME — WSU trailed by seven points, 58-51, when Ladd snagged a defensive board and flipped a pass up the court to Brock Motum, who tried to lay it up in transition. But Wallace caught him from behind and blocked the shot off the backboard, giving the Bears the ball back. Motum missed the font end of a one-and-one later before Cal made eight consecutive free throws to put the game away.
STAT OF THE GAME — California blocked 11 shots, six of those by center Richard Solomon. WSU coach Ken Bone admitted afterward that Cal's shot-blocking probably made the Cougars a little more tentative and less willing to attack the rim, which was their gameplan to begin with. Brock Motum attempted 14 shots, and seven of them were from 3-point range. Five of those 14 attempts were blocked. It was just hard for WSU to get anything going inside today, other than the action they got from offensive rebounds, of which they had 21.
QUOTABLE — “I think their length, I think Stanford’s length, I think Aziz N’Diaye from UW, his length — we have a hard time simulating that, so when we’re in practice all the time he doesn’t see that. But we’re sure seeing it now.” — Bone on Motum being bothered by longer players
UP NEXT — Utah visits Beasley Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Utes haven't won a conference game yet this season, though they've played Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA down to the wire. Colorado visits on Saturday.